Google Glass making its way into hospitals

Dr. Rafael Grossman, MD, FACS, used his Google Glass to document a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy procedure. Less than two months later, a pair of Connecticut hospitals have also received the wearable devices and are exploring its potential capabilities for use in training and in the emergency room.

Aug 16th, 2013

Earlier this year, Google distributed 8,000 Google Glass devices to applicants around the world. Not long after, various uses of the device began to surface, from improving machine vision to using it for facial recognition purposes. Its latest application, however, could have a much more significant impact.

Less than two months ago, Dr. Rafael Grossman, MD, FACS, wrote on his blog how the use of his Google Glass device enabled him to document a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy procedure. Grossman set up a Google Hang-Out (HO) between his Glass and a separate Google account he created for purposes of documenting the surgery.

Grossman, who in his blog was direct and careful about not violating any HIPAA laws during the filming, says that the Glass was on during the entire procedure, and that anything he saw, streamed onto the nearby iPad,

“The whole thing was fairly quick and went very well. We used “home-made” techniques, so the pictures and video are not optimal, but I think the point stands: Google Glass streaming during live surgery by a Glass Explorer surgeon…IS POSSIBLE,” he said.

This is unlikely to be the Glasses’ first and only foray into the hospital, however, as Hartford Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital are now also exploring the use of the wearable devices, according to the Hartford Courant.

Chris Madison, a simulation technician for the hospital, explained in an application to Google that he wanted to use the device to “save lives,” to which Google naturally responded in the affirmative. The hospital’s education and innovation department has received the device and is in the process of brainstorming possibilities for its possible uses.

In addition, Yale-New Haven Hospital also received a pair of the glasses, and its simulation team is focusing on its potential as a training tool in their facility.

In less than a year, Google Glass is already starting to branch out into practical uses, and as people like Grossman and Madison continue to research its potential capabilities in hospitals, its real-life applicability will continue to expand.

View Dr. Grossman’s blog.
View the Hartford Courant article.

Also check out:
How Google Glass can improve machine vision
Facial recognition hack with Google Glass
Google’s underwater street view camera

Share your vision-related news by contacting James Carroll, Senior Web Editor, Vision Systems Design

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